This the sixth post of the series “How to Select an Appropriate Secondary School”

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When you take a short walk under void decks or common public areas such as libraries and shopping malls, you will notice secondary school students hanging out in those areas. This is actually the best time to observe these students – though it may fall under generalisation for some.

Clues for Inferences

Time to time now, you may come across few articles that seems to showcase students under the void decks being rowdy and such. This is actually a good gauge: the more often you spy students appearing under several void decks huddling in rowdy groups, the likelier it speaks about the disciplinary issues of a school.

This is especially true if you notice small groups at various areas under void decks as it usually means the students are trying to stay out as long as possible before returning home. Interestingly, this may give another clue on the type of communication being passed down to parents. Many students tend to use ‘extra supplementary lessons’ or ‘CCAs’ as a form of excuse to stay out later than they should.


RELATED: (4) Discipline – Not Every Child can Take Tough Love

Disciplinary Committee

Usually, the Disciplinary Committee will be in charge of ensuring the students in the school are not to create a public nuisance of themselves. If the committee is often on the prowl under void decks etc, it signifies that there may be many disciplinary issues in that school. If most disciplinary issues are not handled appropriately, this will have a ripple effect on the rest of the students and they may follow suit as they realise there are ‘loopholes‘ in the system. This is where boundaries will be pushed and water tested.

‘But My Child used to be a Good Kid…’

When parents come to me saying this, it usually signifies that the child has already been sliding downwards. Many parents tend to think that students who are outwardly defiant or challenging are ones to look out for. This is not true. Our students come in all sorts: the quiet ones, the unmotivated ones, the addicted to computer games ones, the slacker ones… all sorts… they don’t act out. Social media such as ‘snapchat’ and ‘instagram’ accounts are connecting them to people in school and outside of school.

Lastly, there will be a number of classes in a particular stream. These classes will adopt different personalities as well. For example, if there are 5 classes in an Express stream of the school; the first class may have a different outlook from the fifth one. Their motivation and discipline will also vary greatly. This happens even in good schools. All in all, it can be a little challenging to ensure your child remains a sweet one until 4/5 years are up.


RELATED: (5) Culture – The Biggest Intangible Impact

What helps? 

A good way to find out more is to talk to students who are currently attending that particular school. It can be your neighbour or relative. Ask them about the students and the general behaviour of the student population. Observe how the students speak and treat each other. If you are close to the student, find out how is the culture in that school and what are the current social media trends that are taking the school by storm.

Remember to always be there for your child using non-judgemental behaviour. You will want to create a safe haven where your child finds it comfortable to share with your their thoughts and ideas instead of shirking away from you.